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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
92,833 miles
Total Complaints:
50 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (24 reports)
  2. replace engine (12 reports)
  3. never ever buy a toyota corolla (11 reports)
  4. dealer honoring warranty (2 reports)
  5. use thicker oil (1 reports)
2002 Toyota Corolla engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Toyota Corolla Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #50

Oct 012012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


I went to get an oil change and the attendant said they couldn't do it because there was very little oil. He asked if I had a leak...I said no? From then on the car has been using an excessive amount of oil and the check engine light keeps coming on. Soon after I had an engine flush and the light went off but eventually came back on. I had the code checked & reset and it was a minor problem so I didn't get it fixed but then it did not pass emissions.

I took it to a mechanic on a Saturday and he said a Cat code was showing and I made an appointment to have it diagnosed on the following Monday, Drove it around with no problems and on Monday the code was gone. Wasn't in memory or pending so I took it to emissions and it passed. Two days later the check engine light was on again. The car has been running good (the mechanic agreed) but uses an excessive amount of oil. Puzzled until I found the site and talked to others with Corolla and we all seem to have the same problem but THERE ARE NO recalls. Puzzled? What to do? Can't afford a new engine or car.

- , Stratford, CT, USA

problem #49

Jan 032013

Corolla CE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,000 miles

I love my 2002 Toyota Corolla. I had it for 8 years now, bought it used with 28000 miles on it and it now has 137000. I rave about my car to my co-workers who are having problems with theirs and always brag about how good my car is but that is now over. I religiously do the oil change every 3000miles or every 3 months whichever comes first. I mean I am really good at keeping up with it but twice in a row now, I went for an oil change and the guy tell me that my oil was really really low - both times I wondered why because my oil was not leaking and I don't drive a lot, then around Jan 3 with still 700miles to go before my oil change, my car started rattling like the engine is going to fall off, about a week or 2 before this I noticed that my oil light comes on every time I break for a few seconds then goes away - I didn't think much of it. 2 days after I heard the rattling noise, the noise had gotten worse so I took it in to car shop and here the guy is telling me that my engine oil was bone dry. I don't understand why!! So now I have to keep oil in my garage and maybe refilling it every 1000 miles, this is not good news and I hope Toyota can make this issue go away with the newer models.

- , Wylie, TX, USA

problem #48

Jun 012008

Corolla CE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,215 miles

In June 2008 I heard my engine rattling when coming in the driveway and when I checked my oil level it was almost completely out! I thought I lost the oil cap or oil pan screw but it was the engine burning the oil. Every 1000km I had to add 1 litre to 1.5 litres of 10W-30 oil while the car calls for 5W-30. I started an excel spreadsheet to track my dipstick levels every Sunday morning before I drive to track it. Since my car was just over the 100,000km warranty Toyota wouldn't help unless I could produce every oil change receipt to have partial coverage paid and even then it would have cost me $3000 to fix without the receipts. It's now August 2013 and I'm getting about 800km before adding 1-2 litres of oil as well as Lucas Oil additive to help reduce burning. It's cheaper then the alternative. Other than that the car runs fine. My engine light just came on a week ago but I figure it's the O2 sensor from all the burning oil. To date I would say roughly I have added 106 litres of 10W-30 to the engine between oil changes ever 5000km. Yes, it's annoying to check this each week, but now I have a usage timeline and when I get a new car I will start a new spreadsheet from day 1 that has one page for services at what mileage with invoice numbers and a second page parts I may get like wiper blades, air filters, etc and page three is my oil consumption based on points on the dipstick and mileage recording. If the engine runs fine then you may never have to use page three much, but it helps to have all things recorded when you go to the dealer!!!

- , Waterdown, ON, Canada

problem #47

Feb 102011

Corolla S 1.8L

  • Manual transmission
  • 100,000 miles


I also own a 2002 Toyota corolla S, I purchased it in December of 2002, there has been no recall on the excessive oil usage problem, how ever there was a service statement released on it. Which means, hey we know this is a big problem but since it won't kill anybody tough crap we aren't going to fix it. But at least you can tell your mechanic what the problem is and they can charge you out the wazoo to replace the engine or the seals in it. I believe when I read the service statement out on it the problem was with the type of seals used. I wish I would have known about the problem which isn't possible since I purchased it when the car was only a year old, I still have to admit that is the only thing that has caused a problem until now, I think my head has a leak in it. but the car has been reliable non the less. Just pissed that they won't fix the known problem with the engine.

- , Springfield, MO, USA

problem #46

May 012010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

Wish I had known this was a problem before I replaced the first engine because now having the same problem with the replacement! My daughter bought this car new and the engine blew at 58,000 miles (one month out of warranty). We replaced the engine and I got the car from her when she bought a new minivan. Now the car has 20,000 miles on the used replacement engine and uses excessive oil every 300mi or so. I've used only full-synthetic and just holding my breath until this engine blows....scumbags Toyota! It's definitley burning it, have oil smear on the bumper around the tailpipe. Never again will I buy Toyota and will broadcast this everywhere!

- , Gulfport, MS, USA

problem #45

Jan 022007

Corolla 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

I bought my 2002 Toyota Corolla brand new and once it reached 67,000 miles, the oil started burning. Every time I add more oil in the engine, it keeps burning. Right now I am at 170,000 and for every 200 miles, I would add a quart of oil. I must always remember to check it or else the engine may burn out. Is anyone else having the same problem? I'm sure there are people who have the same issue as me. It would be nice to all file a complaint about this issue because it's a major issue.

I have a 2004 Toyota Corolla too and there is nothing wrong with that car, so I'm not sure why my 2002 is like this.

- , Golden Valley, Minnesota, USA

problem #44

Oct 012011

Corolla CE 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles


This is BS. I google 2002 corolla burning oil and found there are plenty of them out there with this issue. Any class action going on somewhere? I'd love to join. at around 95K car started dipping low on oil. Now it is like 2 quart every oil change.

- , Cypress, CA, USA

problem #43

May 072010

Corolla S

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,000 miles

I purchased a 2002 Toyota Corolla S in 2001. Great car & no major maintenance until I hit 90,000 miles. My engine was making a winding/rattling noise upon acceleration which seemed to come & go. I also noticed my oil would disappear between oil changes. The stick was completely dry but no oil light or engine light ever came on. I took it to a Toyota dealership and they did a oil test and had me run it for 500 miles to see how much would be used. There was not really anything gone at that point. They told me the car was getting old and that I should consider either replacing the engine which would cost $3900.00 or I could get a new car. I left there thinking they just want to sell me a new car. I took the car to numerous places & no one could ever tell me where the oil is going but to just keep adding oil so your engine doesn't blow. I have been doing this for the past 2 years now and it is so bad that I only put 3000 or less miles on a 3 month span & I am adding 2 quarts of oil in it. The car now has 139,000 miles on it and as I just turned off the engine as I parked it in the parking lot at work I noticed noises coming from the engine after the car was turned off. I suspect I may go out there after work & something major may have happened. If so, I will call the junk yard since that is what it is at this point. I am very sorry I bought this car. I bought it on the basis that everyone I knew told me I could easily get 250,000 miles on those cars! I will never buy a Toyota again! Toyota won't help anyone. Since I cannot afford a new car I guess I will have to walk to work!!! Thanks Toyota!!!

- , Delavan, WI, USA

problem #42

Oct 012007

Corolla LE 1zz-Fe

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,206 miles

click to see larger images

engine uses excessive oil engine uses excessive oil

I purchased this 2002 Toyota Corolla new. It started using oil every week and I never had time to check it out and repair it. I thought I am now a statistic for being burned by Toyota with a lemon. It otherwise runs great but I check the gas and fill the oil. I came upon this site by accident looking for answers to the problem. I thought I better add my car to this complaint site, right away. So here's hoping Toyota will pay attention and salvage us as possible bad publicity to their reputation. Thank-you so much for this site and the opportunity to make a legitimate gripe to Toyota.

- , North Saanich, BC, canada

problem #41

Oct 152010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I bought my Corolla used from a person I knew. I'm certain they took good care of it as I am certain that I take good care of it.

I noticed that the oil was low and filthy in November of 2010. I paid to have an oil leak fixed which I now suspect never existed (I never saw evidence of any oil leak). I currently check my oil every time I get gasoline and I keep a quart in my trunk so that it never gets low.

I bought a Toyota because of their reputation for practical cars that last a really long time. It's irritating that I constantly have to worry about my oil levels; what concerns me more is that the longevity of my car might be reduced.

- , Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #40

Mar 102012

Corolla LE 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles


I have been a toyota owner most of my adult life. I also have a 2005 toyota 4-runner and a 2008 toyota tundra. I have spent a total $84,000 on toyota vehicles and these problems I am reading about with the corollas is really pissing me off. My 2002 corolla is burning excessive oil so I took it to my mechanic. It started using oil probably at 100,000 miles and now it is like a quart every couple hundred miles. My mechanic said it has excessive blow by meaning rings and or pistons are shot. He gave me a price of $3,000.00 for a used motor with 59,000 miles on it. I thought that was crazy especially if this is common problem with the 1.8 liter. I would replace my blown motor with another piece of s++t one. I think we should all get together and bring a lawsuit against toyota and make them recall these engines until all of us are satisfied. I am really considering selling my current toyotas and buying american again.

- , Milford, PA, USA

problem #39

Aug 012011

Corolla CE 1.8L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

Been working on a car for a friend that was purchased in Texas. The car currently uses about a half quart every 100 miles. (Determined the problem the first time the car was due for an oil change and had no oil on the dip stick)

-No blue smoke or smell

-No dramatic oil drips (some small oil leaks)

-Will replace PCV just to see if it slows down the problem.

This website has some other things to try, but I'm probably just going to switch her to a heaver motor oil and make sure she checks it often. http://www.corolland.com/repairs.html

Sorry to hear about the problems with this car.

- , East Grand Forks, Minnesota, USA

problem #38

Dec 082011

Corolla LE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 162,000 miles

I have had my 2002 Toyota Corolla LE since it had 20k miles. It has been the best car ever and I have only done routine maintenance on it. I have always done the oil changes myself and had only noticed minor oil loss in the past. On my way to work this morning my check engine light came on so I check the fluid levels and found the oil level barely registering on the dipstick. I added some oil, disconnected the battery to reset the cars computer and then reconnected the battery after two minutes. When I started the car my check engine light was turned off but it worries me about the oil loss. It has never leaked oil since I have had it and it appears to only be consuming it. After reading similar complaints I'm now worried I may have to keep adding oil over and over. It sounds like it's a known problem but not worth fixing considering the age of the car. A cousin of mine has a 1996 Corolla with 260,000 miles and it still runs good. I wonder if it's just an issue with the 2002's engine??? I need this car to last me a long time still so I guess I'll resort to trying thicker oil and monitor it frequently.

- , Lehi, UT, USA

problem #37

Sep 022011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

Yet another one of these stupid lemons that's eating oil like it's going out of style.

It's my daughter's car, bought used in 2009 from someone who took amazing care of it. My mechanic said it was a fantastic deal for $7K, engine was spotless, etc. My daughter's been commuting back/forth to college with it just this fall, maybe putting 350 miles/week on the car.

Now suddenly when I took it in to get routine maintenance on Sept. 2nd, the same mechanic (Mike) said it looked like it might be "burning oil" and to have my daughter check the dipstick every ~1000 miles. On Oct. 14th, she checked it and it was down to below the first dot (e.g., LOW). So I dumped a quart in to bring it up to the second dot (e.g., GOOD), switched cars with my daughter (she's now driving my 2006 Nissan Sentra since I only commute ~5 miles/day), and set up an appointment for today to find out where the oil was going.

Mike just called me to say it's "consuming" the oil and suggested a flush/clean for ~$85 to perhaps clear out some sludge. I did a Google search and found this site, along with dozens of other similar complaints. Mike also researched the issue and confirmed that it was a common problem.

Some sites with similar complaints have suggested replacing the piston oil control rings to the tune of ~$1700, along with switching to all-synthetic oil (e.g., Castrol Syntec oil), seems to help significantly. As to whether it's worth dumping that much money into a 10-year-old car is something I'm still debating.

Wish I had known all this stuff BEFORE I bought this car. Friends/coworkers all seem to have hundreds of miles on their Toyotas with no problems, so most recommended I get this one for my daughter.

I did a search for 2006 Nissan Sentra on this website and found like 10 hits, mainly about cosmetic issues (e.g., paint, interior trim, etc.). I guess my car is on the "good" list. Thank heavens one of them is.

Never again will I buy a Toyota.

- , Livermore, CA, USA

problem #36

Oct 012010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

as many others on this website, my 2002 Toyota Corolla has been consuming oil like crazy. no leaking. i add about a quart a week. my mechanic says i should plan to get a new car within the next year. it runs pretty good when there's oil in it.

i'm super disappointed in toyota and won't buy another one. toyotas should last way more than 130,000. i think toyota should step up and fix our cars. maybe not for free..but there should be some seriously reduced price fix for this...they have faulty engines.

- , Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #35

Aug 012010

Corolla LE 1.8L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Bought new 2002 Toyota Corolla LE with the 1800 4-valve 4 cyl engine which now has 90K on it. Started burning excessive oil at 75K to the point of needing 1 quart per week or every 2-3 hundred miles. In addition now the engine knocks badly and is getting worse. Engine does not leak a drop but rather it seems to be an oil consumption problem. According to the dealer and what I have read this is a known issue with this engine. Something about undersized pistons and oversized rings. Car is long out of warranty and spending $5000 to fix a $4 to 5 thousand car makes no sense. I have switched to full synthetic oil and keep the level past full. I baby the engine and hope it holds together until I can replace the whole car.

Just want to pass along my experience and help people make an informed decision when looking at used Toyota Corolla's. I just bought a new Honda Fit last week but was also looking at the new Toyota Yaris. After my experience I am very skeptical about Toyota's commitment to quality about now and so voted with my dollars on a Honda.

- , Port Townsend, WA, USA

problem #34

Apr 022010

Corolla 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

We bought this car used from an auto broker. It was all detailed out and looked great. But when we started driving it, we started hearing rattling sounds after about the first 800 miles, like when I turn a corner or come to an abrupt stop. I checked the oil and found it was at the bottom of the stick. Put a quart in, the rattling sounds stopped for another 800 miles. This has been going on for over a year now! My mechanic says the plugs look fine, so the car is "using" excessive oil, not "burning" it. There's no evidence of any leaks anywhere. We have no idea why it's doing this, but the mechanic says it's too expensive to fix - would require a rebuild! Is there a recall on this model? Will Toyota do ANYTHING?

- , Denver, CO, USA

problem #33

Mar 132011

Corolla CE

  • Manual transmission
  • 102,400 miles

Recently purchased my first Toyota Corrolla CE 2002 with 102,000 miles from my co-worker. It came with engine oil consumption problem. According to my co-worker, his Mechanics has told him that oil consumption is related to the Valve or Ring/Piston problem and it is expensive to fix it. I have to use 1 qt of oil every week with my driving no more than a 100 miles a week.

2nd problem I discovered is rubber around the steering wheel is loose.

What happened to Toyota's quality and service.?? Now I have to think twice before buying my next car...

- , Frederick, MD, USA

problem #32

Mar 132011

Corolla CE

  • Manual transmission
  • 102,400 miles

Bought my first Corrolla 2002 CE from one of my co-worker. It leaks oil from the day I bought it. According to my co-worker, the problem started after 90,000 miles. His mechanic has told him it is valve or Ring/Piston problem. I talked to my mechanic about the problem, according to him this is a known problem with every Toyota. It will start burning oil after 90 thousand miles and it expensive to fix. Question is what happened to the reliability of the Toyota which was build to keep running without any problem. Now, with this problem and reading all the problems people reported on the web I have to think twice before buying another Toyota....

- , Frederick, MD, USA

problem #31

Jul 122010

Corolla CE 1.8L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,050 miles

My wife bought this second hand about a year ago as a replacement after an accident. I think it's been using excessive oil since the very beginning but I don't drive a lot (maybe a couple of short trips per week) so I haven't really noticed. I recently took the car on a 4000km trip and noticed that it was using 1L of oil or more per two tanks of gas. I brought it in to a mechanic and he checked the compression etc. but couldn't find a problem (he thought it could be due to clogged oil rings). The mechanic suggested I just keep driving it the way it is, but, I'd really like to find the source of the problem.

Also, the car started losing power and stalling whenever the heater fan is turned on. This is not an alternator or battery problem. If I have the car running and turn the heater or AC on it just stalls. If the fan is on when I try to start the car I just can't get it going. If I am driving and turn on the heater/AC fan the car noticeably loses power. The problems with this car are getting really irritating and I'm thinking of trading it in for something else.

Before this I had a 1987 Supra, it still runs great!

- , Dauphin, Manitoba, Canada

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